Kyle Smaine: US freestyle skier dies aged 31 in avalanche in Japan

Kyle Smaine was snowboarding on the two,469m Mount Hakuba Norikura when he died

Former US world champion freestyle skier Kyle Smaine has died in an avalanche, his household have confirmed.

Smaine, 31, was certainly one of two skiers killed on the east slope of Mount Hakuba Norikura in Japan, when the incident occurred on Sunday.

His father, William Smaine, confirmed to NBC Informationexternal-link on Monday that his son had died within the incident.

“Today we lost an incredible person, friend, skier and team-mate to the mountains,” the US Freeski Crew mentioned.external-link

“Smaine loved exploring the mountains, was a fierce competitor but an even better person and friend.”

The 2015 World Championships halfpipe gold medallist was in Japan on a advertising journey for Ikon Go and Nagano Tourism.

Japanese authorities confirmed 5 males from the US and Austria had been caught within the avalanche however three of the skiers had been capable of safely make it down the mountain.

Smaine’s spouse Jenna Dramise wrote in a submit on Instagramexternal-link: “Dear husband and my whole world, officially married November 18, 2022, which not many people knew about. I’m so incredibly thankful that I got to marry you and have you in my life.

“You liked snowboarding extra then anybody I’ve ever met. I do know you had the very best runs in your life on the market in Japan and will by no means blame you for doing what you liked. I am unable to wait to see you once more.”

The identity of the Austrian skier who died is unknown.

Fellow American skier Adam U was one of the five men involved and was buried 1.5m deep for approximately 25 minutes, before being rescued.

Chatting with Mountain Gazetteexternal-link, U mentioned: “We noticed it coming, we heard the crack and we realised it’s a large one. We began operating after which we acquired hit.”

The weather authorities had issued an avalanche warning for the area after days of heavy snowfall and record cold temperatures.